Despite a full slate of primary candidates for the House of Delegates, the fireworks in District 30 won't go off until the general election campaign.
Popular Del. John C. Astle, unopposed in the Democratic primary, probably will face Clerk of the Court and GOP party tigress Mary McNally Rose in a race for the state Senate. Mrs. Rose is expected to beat newcomer Robert J. O'Neill handily in the primary; her qualifications are superior. We endorse her in the primary and look forward to a spark-filled contest with Mr. Astle.
For the House, Democratic voters will select three of six candidates. Incumbent Del. Michael E. Busch and 20-year County Councilwoman Virginia P. Clagett possess experience that outshines the rest of the field. Mrs. Clagett has a strong environmental record. Mr. Busch, a delegate since 1986, came into his own this year as chairman of the Economic Matters Committee. He is not a brilliant lawmaker, but he is steady and increasingly savvy about getting things done in Annapolis.
The remaining candidates all have weak points: John C. Eldridge Jr., a tireless worker for the party with little real-life experience; Stephen Carr, an environmentalist with a reputation for being difficult; political consultant Charles M. Ross and educator Larry M. Johnson, both newcomers. We are willing to take a chance on Mr. Johnson. He seems committed to education reforms and to being a voice for the district's minorities.
On the GOP side, four candidates are vying for three nominations. Appointed incumbent Phillip Bissett does not pretend to be anything other than what he is: a spokesman for the average resident. He works well with other legislators and has sponsored several sensible crime bills. We endorse him.
We also endorse Joan Beck, Del. Ellen Sauerbrey's conservative, intelligent aide, and, with less enthusiasm, Ralph C. "Rocky" Rosacker II, a retired U.S. Marine officer running against "Bill Clinton and those in state government who think and act like him." Perhaps Mr. Rosacker should be running for federal office. Nonetheless, we choose him over parole and probation agent Michael T. Brown, who has made us uncomfortable ever since he was investigated for election fraud in 1989.
6* Tomorrow: Endorsements in District 31.